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Professional Standards Manual

Notice of Change: Information in this manual will be changing when new rules about disclosures and dual agency take effect on June 15, 2018. Please check back for up-to-date information about agency and disclosure obligations. Learn more about the new rules.

Trading Services

1. Practice Standards

(b) Agency - View Entire Section

(I) Agency Disclosure

Section 5-10 of the Rules outlines the information which must be disclosed by a licensee about the nature of that licensee’s relationships with parties in a trade in real estate.  Section 5-10 of the Rules provides that:

Before providing trading services to or on behalf of a party to a trade in real estate, a licensee must disclose the following to the party:

(a) the nature of the representation that the licensee will provide to the party,

(b) as applicable,

(i) that the licensee, or a related licensee, is or expects to be providing trading services to or on behalf of any other person, in any capacity, in relation to the same trade in real estate,

(ii) that the licensee, or a related licensee, is or expects to be receiving remuneration relating to trading services referred to in subparagraph (i) from any other person, and

(iii) the nature of the licensee’s relationship or the relationship of the related licensee, with any person referred to in subparagraph (i) or (ii).

Effective July 1, 2013, section 5-8 of the Rules requires the nature of the representation that a licensee will provide to a party to be disclosed in writing. This disclosure must be made before providing trading services so that consumers understand the nature of the relationship being proposed by a licensee before they begin to share confidential information with that licensee.

If, during the course of providing real estate services, there is any substantive change to the nature of the licensee’s representation, the licensee must promptly disclose the change in writing as well.

One way for a licensee to meet this disclosure requirement is to provide potential sellers/landlords and buyers/tenants, at first substantial contact, with a copy of the Working With a REALTOR® brochure developed by the British Columbia Real Estate Association (available through real estate boards/associations). This brochure explains a variety of relationships that consumers may have with a brokerage and its related licensees. The brochure also describes:

  • the duties that a brokerage and its related licensees owe to a client, be that client a seller/landlord or a buyer/tenant;
  • limitations on these duties should a brokerage or a related licensee be given consent to act for more than one client in relation to the same trade in real estate;
  • how, with the agreement of a client, a brokerage may designate one or more licensees to act as designated agents to provide real estate services to or on behalf of a client; and
  • the types of services a customer might normally expect to receive when there is no agency relationship.

This information may assist licensees to describe the nature of the relationship being proposed, and to obtain the seller’s/landlord’s or the buyer’s/tenant’s informed consent to the relationship to be established.

It is important to stress that the seller’s/landlord’s or the buyer’s/tenant’s informed consent is required before a brokerage or any of its related licensees acts on their behalf. Obtaining informed consent before acting is also necessary if a brokerage or any of its related licensees wishes to alter an existing relationship; for example, to move from acting on behalf of only one party to a trade to acting as a limited dual agent on behalf of both parties.